Isolation

This morning i came across this long read in the Guardian: Splendid isolation: how I stopped time by sitting in a forest for 24 hours.

I love this article. A few quotes.

A word he used a lot in talking about his work, and in describing the experience and value of the nature solo, was “re-enchantment”. He was of the opinion that most people, most of the time, lived life in a state of disenchantment. What he wanted to do, above all, was to help people strip away the layers of hard rationalism that accrued around the adult mind, so that they could return to a more childlike engagement with the world. And in reaching this state, he said, this place of re-enchantment, we could come to see ourselves not as separate from and in control of nature, but as part of it.

As weirdly counterintuitive as it feels to acknowledge, human beings are not naturally predisposed to think of life in terms of seconds and hours, of how they might be optimised. The development of mechanical clocks during the middle ages and, later, the advent of widespread precision timekeeping that facilitated the industrial revolution, fundamentally changed the way in which the human animal related to the world. Time became both an abstraction and a commodity, a raw material to be bought and sold, saved or squandered.

The mass adoption of this new conception of time, abstract and removed from the organic context of nature, was central to the rise of capitalism, and to the accelerating mechanisation of life. “Beginning in the 14th century,” as the American cultural critic Neil Postman put it, “the clock made us into time-keepers, and then time-savers, and now time-servers. In the process, we have learned irreverence toward the sun and the seasons, for in a world made up of seconds and minutes, the authority of nature is superseded.” To sit by a river for a day and a night is to experience the reinstatement, if only temporarily, of that authority.

I sat in the Kralingse Bos at the side of the lake. Looking out over it towards the shape of the city of Rotterdam. Following the birds swimming in the water. Closing my eyes and trying to hear all the songs the birds sang all around me. I loved it. Apart from the cars drowning out sounds in the far distance. And at the same time i was thinking of this article. Many thoughts popped in my mind. Most are gone now. It doesn’t matter.

I hope you will enjoy the weekend! Salute!

Published on February 7, 2020 at 6:00 by

Too many things

I’m tired. I talk a lot more with people. I enjoy it. But yes, i’m tired. It’s been a eventful last couple of weeks.

So that’s it for today. Going to bed. Watch some youtube, or television, or netflix. Hopefully i will fall asleep really soon.

Salute!

Published on February 6, 2020 at 6:00 by

The accident

Well.

Yesterday i went to the storage business. A bit far out in a industrial estate park at the edge of Rotterdam. I walked back, past the house i used to live in between 1985 and 1995. I remember thinking i could take a tram, but i decided against it. I like to walk.

Then i found myself lying on the pavement. I fell straight down. I felt my mouth. Blood was on my hands. And i saw a broken tooth in front of me. I was stunned. Shocked. My teeth! With my tongue i felt the broken front tooth. The tooth besides it was bend inward. Someone said to me the blood was coming from the upperlip of my mouth. Someone gave me some paper handkerchiefs.

Stunned.

People walked on. I sat there feeling totally helpless. A young student passing by talked to me and first phones the ambulance. Not serious enough. I could talk, a little bit. I told him a taxi would be good. I thought of going to the first aid department in the closest hospital, the Erasmus. I stood up. I was still conscious. I had not blacked out. I didn’t feel dizzy. Or nauseous. But i was not right.

I said goodbye to the young student. If you ever read this post, thank you for your help!

When i came at the hospital some people looked at me. Luckily i had to wait only around five minutes to get called by a nurse and get my first investigation. If i had a tetanus injection the past ten years. Hmm no. How i felt. Well, i felt sort of not too bad. But i was worried about my mouth. About my teeth. I felt completely mutilated. My mind wend back to that moment i fell. Why? Why didn’t i lift up my feet? Why did i trip over such a small curb? Why didn’t i break my fall with my hands? Why?

It was too late to think these thoughts. It had happened. I could only deal with the aftermaths. Try to keep my head straight.

A doctor came in and went through my arms and legs and head and stomach and eyes. Nothing there. Luckily. She called another doctor to see if they should suture the wound in my mouth. The upper part of my lip had a wound from the inside out. Completely through. One suture on the outside, one on the inside, they said. And i should get a CT scan. I’m over forty, they said. To be sure, they said.

Another nurse came by to bring me to the CT scanner. I closed my eyes while i was lying in there. My first time in such a contraption. I didn’t think there was anything wrong in there, but i was happy they were careful and did everything by the book.

Next to the first aid there was a emergency dentist. After all was done and said, the doctor brought me there. I wanted to be sure. To have a professional opinion. My side tooth was not broken, but it was pointed inward. A dentist came by and asked me when it had happened. A quarter past four, half past four i said. She nodded. And my broken tooth. Damn!

I got a anesthesia injection. That would hurt, she said. But i was still having the sedation i got from the suture. I didn’t feel a thing. It felt like the dentist pulled my tooth straight with her hands. Pretty sure that wasn’t happening. But it was fine. I felt with my tongue the inside of my teeth. It was right! I felt so happy. It was fixed! So happy!

Than the dentist made a porcelain bit added to my front tooth. Temporarily. I will need to get it fixed later on. But this made me so happy. I was looking a bit more normal.

Well, a bit more. I still look mutilated.

I got a taxi back home. Ted and Assie i had called earlier. They were shocked when they saw me. My mouth swollen up. The glass in my glasses was scratched. I need to get a new glass. Damn.

Last night i slept sort of good. My knee hurts. My mouth hurts. My body aches. But i will be alright. In the end.

And i wonder. The sort of seborrheic dermatitis i have for the past year. Around my mouth, my nose, my eyes and eyebrows. So visible. And now this. So visible. It is hard for me to believe this is all a coincidence. I do believe we shape our own life. I’m not sure what to make of this though. It does remind me of what i was saying last week to a friend. I feel like i’m finding my own voice. I’m finding what i want to say, how i want to say it. And that makes me really happy, gloriously happy. And an accident like this pulls me right back.

In the end, i’ll be fine in a few weeks.

*sigh*

Published on February 5, 2020 at 6:00 by

Fellowship with Men

63. Chi Chi / After Completion

above K’AN THE ABYSMAL, WATER
below LI THE CLINGING, FIRE

This hexagram is the evolution of T’ai PEACE (11). The transition from confusion to order is completed, and everything is in its proper place even in particulars. The strong lines are in the strong places, the weak lines in the weak places. This is a very favorable outlook, yet it gives reason for thought. For it is just whenperfect equilibrium has been reached that any movement may cause order to revert to disorder. The one strong line that has moved to the top, thus effecting complete order in details, is followed by the other lines. Each moving according to its nature, and thus suddenly there arises again the hexagram P’i, STANDSTILL (12).
Hence the present hexagram indicates the conditions of a time of climax, which necessitate the utmost caution.

THE JUDGMENT

AFTER COMPLETION. Success in small matters.
Perseverance furthers.
At the beginning good fortune.
At the end disorder.

The transition from the old to the new time is already accomplished. In principle, everything stands systematized, and it si only in regard to details that success is still to be achieved. In respect to this, however, we must be careful to maintain the right attitude. Everything proceeds as if of its own accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let thing take their course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil. Symptoms of decay are bound to be the result. Here we have the rule indicating the usual course of history. But this rule is not an inescapable law. He who understands it is in position to avoid its effects by dint of unremitting perseverance and caution.

THE IMAGE

Water over fire: the image of the condition
In AFTER COMPLETION.
Thus the superior man
Takes thought of misfortune
And arms himself against it in advance.

When water in a kettle hangs over fire, the two elements stand in relation and thus generate energy (cf. the production of steam). But the resulting tension demands caution. If the water boils over, the fire is extinguished an its energy is lost. If the heat is too great, the water evaporates into the air. These elements here brought in to relation and thus generating energy are by nature hostile to each other. Only the most extreme caution can prevent damage. In life too there are junctures when all forces are in balance and work in harmony, so that everything seems to be in the best of order. In such times only the sage recognizes the moments that bode danger and knows how to banish it by means of timely precautions.

Six in the fourth place means:
The finest clothes turn to rags.
Be careful all day long.

In a time of flowering culture, an occasional convulsion is bound to occur, uncovering a hidden evil within society and at first causing a great sensation. But since the situation is favorable on the whole, such evils can easily be glossed over and concealed from the public. Then everything is forgotten and peace apparently reigns complacently once more. However, to the thoughtful man, such occurrences are grave omens that he does not neglect. This is the only way of averting evil consequences.

Six at the top means:
He gets his head in the water. Danger.

Here in conclusion another warning is added. After crossing a stream, a man’s head can get into the water only if he is so imprudent as to turn back. As long as he goes forward and does not look back, he escapes this danger. But there is a fascination in standing still and looking back on a peril overcome. However, such vain self-admiration brings misfortune. It leads only to danger, and unless one finally resolves to go forward without pausing, one falls a victim to this danger.

13. T’ung Jên / Fellowship with Men

above CH’IEN THE CREATIVE, HEAVEN
below LI THE CLINGING, FLAME

The image of the upper trigram Ch’ien is heaven, and that of the lower, Li, is flame. It is the nature of fire to flame up to the heaven. This gives the idea of fellowship. IT is the second line that, by virtue of its central character, unites the five strong lines around it. This hexagram forms a complement to Shih, THE ARMY (7). In the latter, danger is within and obedience without–the character of a warlike army, which, in order to hold together, needs one strong man among the many who are weak. Here, clarity is within and strength without–the character of a peaceful union of men, which, in order to hold together, needs one yielding nature among many firm persons.

THE JUDGMENT

FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN in the open.
Success.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
The perseverance of the superior man furthers.

True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal. It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. That is why it is said that fellowship with men in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails, even difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water, can be accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of fellowship, a persevering and enlightened leader is needed–a man with clear, convincing, and inspiring aims and the strength to carry them out. (The inner trigram means clarity; the outer, strength.)

THE IMAGE

Heaven together with fire:
The image of FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN.
Thus the superior man organizes the clans
And makes distinctions between things.

Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is different from fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for the systematic division and arrangement of time, so human society and all things that really belong together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere mingling of individuals or of things–that would be chaos, not fellowship. If fellowship is to lead to order, there must be organization within diversity.

Published on January 30, 2020 at 6:00 by

My almost empty house

Stuff to take with me to the new place i will be staying at for four months
I can still play music. Quite happy with that! 🙂
Went through my old medicines. Some for my cats, some for me. Brought the cat ones already to the vet. Will bring my own to the chemist.
Stuff i will bring to Piekfijn. Already brought them some clothes today.
Magazines and books to give away
To throw away
Clothes to take with me to my new place
Make up, creams and balms to take with me
Top: materials to make body butters and other things with. Middle: old clock which i will have mended some day in future. Bottom: handkerchiefs, garden clothes and sleeping shirts.
De calvados will be finished this week. Stuff to store. A bottle of wine i'm not sure what to do with. Medicines and needle and thread case i will take with me.
The couch will go away. For now it is the place i sleep and sit.
Published on January 29, 2020 at 6:00 by

Packing

Books for the giving away cupboards
Boardgames i will also give away
Two cupboards
Boxes
More boxes
Boxes with shoes and handbags and a hallway cupboard
Watercolour material to take with me
Watercolour paper
Spirograph
Saying goodbye to my old magazines: the Avenue i bought in the 80s and Blitz
Elle and Vogue
Smash Hits the end of the 80s and early 90s
Going though all my old bills, contracts, invoices. Some from around 2000, some from 2011 onwards. My old payments stuff. And this 'giromaatpas' from an now deleted bank number from the Postbank. Old times. Most of this stuff i will throw away. But i'm saving this small card 🙂
Published on January 27, 2020 at 6:00 by